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Belgrade Design Week 2011
Belgrade, a city with energy aiming for a change. The BDW was dedicated to the topic “Future” and there wouldn't have been a better place for this Event than the Serbian capital. As soon as you arrive you see that there is a gap between the society-levels due to the city´s architecture; Communism cubic buildings across the new high-end buildings as well as many beautiful old buildings. The creative minds of several countries met in this surrounding and offered Workshops and gave serious and entertaining speeches.
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Right after I landed at the airport I got to know the talkative Päivi Jan Tunen from Ittala, who has worked in the public relations field for many years. She visited the Conference to talk about sustainability and her dear Kay Franck, on whom the company`s philosophy is formulated along. She herself is a non-consuming orientated person; she carries her leather-purse for years just missing some kind of electric lightning to find her stuff faster.
In the evening we went to Klub Knjizevnika, which is described as „a distinguished gastronomic and literary temple“. It is visited by writers and diplomats for over 60 years now. The description was proved true, as we recognized the Serbian President at a table. The first time in Belgrade, sitting in the same place as the president, what will be next? After the president shortly welcomed the guest of the Belgrade Design Week, with a glass of white wine in his hand, we went on to a concert by Matthew Dear at the Studentski Kulturni Centar. Afterwards the multi-talented guys from Snask (brand, design and film agency //no porn) had a Dj-session at the MTV Aftershow party. It was a pleasure to have them sitting in front of me during the dinner and I thank Magnus Berg for joining my messy-eating-manners, it would have been a great picture with the spilled table-cloth the spilled tie and the president dancing in the background.
Some notes of the Belgrade Design Week Conference Future² Martin Gran, managing director of Snohetta (Opera House Oslo, Ground Zero Memorial) Design from Norway. He showed some of their great work and through his lively gestures you felt his love for his profession. Thomas Geisler, (Curator of MAK Wien) gave a speech regarding how a museum can shape a city, at the basis of the project Vienna. He saw a task in expanding the museum-borders into the public-space and to interact with it. Tobias Lutz & Nils Becker from Architonic reported about „Design your way to the future – the making of Architonic“and the necessity of saying no, accompanied with their roguish smiles. Stefan Diez showed the making of the new chair for Wilkhan and his message was to „keep the spirit“. Emma Stenström made a energetic talk about Combining Artistic & Business Practice and how enriching the collaboration between different disciplines like circus artists and business students can be. Dieter Meier from the band Yello (Swiss music legend, artist, film and video director, writer and entrepreneur, now also in knowledge about the cologne-accent saying „mäste nix & et kütt, wie et kütt“) told the audience that you should „always be prepared to make a fool of yourself“.
One of the wonderful hosts abducted me to a pub and introduced me to the beer from Belgrade, afterwards she took me to the Mikser-Festival from Design and Art Students and introduced me to her great friends, with which I was staying out all night and also for getting to know about the difficult situation to find a adequate job for high-educated young people in Serbia. It is just crazy to me, that the prices in the stores where almost about an Euro more expensive than in Cologne, with the knowledge of the average income in the cities. In this situation it is highly understandable that more and more high-educated people are leaving abroad, also if the country itself would need their knowledge, but yet it's not able to use this resource for its self-interest.
But as the BDW was regarded to future I am sure, that these young professionals will manage and make a change for the future.
by Stephanie Krauch / Cologne / Germany